i have never been so terrified in my life as i was when i read this bill today

Sweet Like Caramel pt. 1- Delitoonz

Part 2

by Faith (just-delitoonz-things)

Jonathan had only worked at the coffee shop for a month before he decided that this was the best job in the entire world. For one thing, he got coffee 50% off, which for a guy living on his own in New York, paycheck to paycheck, was life changing. For another, he got to make coffee for cute guys, specifically one cute guy who had come in every morning since Jonathan had started working there. His name was Luke, and that’s pretty much all Jonathan knew about him except for the fact that he always came in at 6:30 sharp looking like he hated the world and everything in it. Jonathan hoped that the extra caramel he always put on his large caramel macchiatos made Luke’s mornings a little better.

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Four times Maggie Scully’s prayers were answered and one time they weren’t

Written for @xfficchallenges The Fic You’d Never Write challenge. I’ve pretty much covered comedy, drama, family, sick, smut, angst, casefile and au in my stories so it was tricky to think of a new angle. I couldn’t bring myself to write another pairing, so I settled on another POV: Maggie Scully.

 1 Lost and found

She watched Fox as he walked around the apartment. She knew Dana thought highly of him, had come to trust in him. But she had also spoken of his impetuosity, the disregard he displayed for his own safety, his unwavering belief in the hopeless, the inexplicable and the outlandish. Dana told her that oftentimes during a case he was driven to point of closing his mind to logic, order or direct command. And for that, today, now, Maggie Scully was grateful. He barked orders at the techs, he spoke with authority to whoever he was conversing with on his cellphone, he regarded each blood stain, each hair, each upended object in Dana’s apartment with a deep consideration that made her believe in the hopeless – that Dana would come home. Safe.

           ‘Mrs Scully – why don’t I get one of the officers to drive you home. You should try to get some sleep.’

           She shook her head and looked at the fern that draped over the top of the cupboard in Dana’s living room. Bright green, well-cared for. Full of life. ‘I wouldn’t sleep, but I do feel like I’m in the way here.’

           Fox nodded and offered her a half smile of sympathy. She saw a depth of understanding in his eyes. She saw how his losing Dana cut him – they had shared so much in just a year or so. She saw respect and fear too. But above all she saw tenacity.

           ‘I can drive you, if you prefer.’

           ‘I wouldn’t want to take you away from here.’

           He chuffed out a bitter laugh. ‘Perhaps I’m better off staying. There’s lots to be done still.’

‘I’ll be praying.’

He put his hand on hers. ‘I will find her. I’ll do everything I can to find her.’

           ‘I know,’ she said. And she did.

2 Doubt and Trust

Dana rushed past her, taking the stairs two at a time and slammed the door of her room. The rafters shook and Maggie looked out the window at the garden, marvelling at how well it had survived the cooler months. As she waited downstairs, she could hear Dana opening drawers and shutting them. She heard her crying out and talking to herself, wild words, incomprehensible ranting. Maggie waited until it fell silent. She learned early on as a parent, that the trouble was always to be found in the silence.

Dana had been an introspective child, the quietest. Missy was all drama and theatrics, Bill was full of his own self-importance and blustering righteousness, Charlie was a noisy terrier desperate to keep up with the older ones. But Dana was always observing. And when she did break down there was always a damned good reason. Maggie knew her daughter felt so deeply, tried so hard to work out how to live in harmony with a world full of pain and injustice that it sometimes became impossible to be the stoic one, to not be worn down.

And whatever had worn her down now was frightening in its ferocity. This had not been a slow chipping away; this had been a searing, burning explosion.

Maggie trod carefully, holding the banister, weighing up whether to call Fox first or wait for him to come. He would come. Of that, she was certain. She knocked, lightly at first, then with more force. She rattled the door against its lock.

           ‘Dana, honey. Let me in. Please.’

           Silence.

           ‘Dana, I want to help you, but you have to open the door.’

           Nothing.

           ‘I have the key, Dana. I’m going to open the door anyway. It will be much better if you open it yourself. I just want to see that you’re okay, that’s all.’

           When Dana pulled back the door, Maggie tried to contain her rising fear. She was still fully dressed but rumpled, her hair tangled, her eyes red-rimmed and wide with terror. She was wringing her fingers, pacing.

           ‘It’s all been a lie, mom. All of it.’

           ‘I’m sure that’s not true, Dana.’

           ‘It is,’ she said, wiping spittle from her chin. ‘I’ve been so stupid. So stupid. How could I not have seen it?’

           Maggie moved forward, holding her arms out towards Dana. ‘Why don’t you  come downstairs with me? I’ve made tea. You’ll feel better if you drink something, sit down.’ She brushed the sides of Dana’s arms, just a light touch, but one that sent her daughter skittling backwards as though her fingers were electrically charged.

           The rapping at the front door was the tipping point. Dana sunk to her knees, clutching her hands against her ears. When the knocking came again, louder, more insistent, Dana jolted upright and shoved Maggie out of the door. ‘Don’t answer it. It’s them. They can’t come in. If you answer it, they’ll kill me.’ She shut the door.

           The walk down the stairs was terrifying. The fear that Dana would hurt herself if she answered the door weighted against the fear that she would hurt herself if she didn’t. Before she even pulled it open, she knew it was Fox and that she wouldn’t be able to stop him. She recognised the look in his eyes. The depth of understanding. Respect and fear. And the tenacity.

           And the moment Dana collapsed in tears she saw the love too.

That night she prayed for her daughter. And she prayed for Fox. And she prayed they could move past this event to regain their mutual trust. The trust they needed more than her prayers.

3 Strength and Weakness

Dana’s skin was so pale and with her gaunt face, she looked haunted. Maggie knew she was stubbornly refusing to be as terrified as everyone else. Maggie sat in the chair most nights and read to her. She slept fitfully, twisting the sheets and mumbling about Mulder. Whatever had happened since he reappeared, Maggie felt sure that her daughter would rest easier if Fox spent a little more time with her. The chip that Fox had offered up as a cure was a mystery that Bill refused to give any credence to, but Maggie knew her daughter, and if Dana trusted Fox with her future, then the least she could do as her mother was to wait and read and hope.

           Dana stirred, turning her face to the window as her eyes fluttered open. She smiled at Maggie. Maggie squeezed her hand and offered her a cup of water. Dana hoisted herself up and sat against the starched pillows.

           “Has Mulder been in?”

           “He called by earlier, but didn’t stay. Can you manage something to eat? A little jello? Bill stopped by too. He says to say hi.”

           “I think he chooses to stop in when Mulder’s here so he can look like he cares more.”

           Maggie clucked. “I think that’s a little unkind, Dana.” She gave Dana a spoon and a bowl of orange jello.

           “It’s true. His presence here intimidates Mulder.”

           “Fox is a grown man. An FBI agent. He carries a gun. Your brother shouldn’t intimidate him.”

Dana swallowed a mouthful of jello and smiled. “Mulder’s vulnerable at the moment. He’s had his beliefs tested. He has had to re-examine his entire purpose, his quest for the truth, his job,” she paused and took another spoonful. “This illness. His passion is both his strength and his weakness. He’s been shattered by recent events.”

Dana lay her head back against the pillow.

“You can’t use all your strength worrying about Fox.”

“Who else will, mom?”

She was asleep within minutes. Mulder knocked gently and slid into the room, taking the seat on the other side of the bed. Maggie put the book on the side table and whispered to him that she was going to find a cup of tea. He stood up as she left, closing the door behind her. She waited a moment outside. Watched as he lifted the chair closer to Dana’s side. Placed his hand over Dana’s.

           Maggie stopped on her way to the canteen, visiting the quiet room. She contemplated the landscape on the wall, a forest scene with towering trees that stretched their leaf-laden limbs to a deep blue sky. She closed her eyes and gathered her strength, praying for Dana.

And for Fox.

4 Forward and Backward

It was sometimes difficult to understand just what the FBI wanted. They took so much and gave nothing back. All Maggie wanted for her daughter was peace, dignity. She’d buried Fox. She’d witnessed the miracle of his resurrection. They had a child only to be forced to give William away. And then the trial. Charges that carried the death penalty. The break out. And years of forced isolation. And now this.

           The driveway was long and rutted. The house always seemed like it had been stuck on the block with no care. And now it just looked disheveled and sorry as they drove away.

“I’m sorry you had to come get me, mom.”

“I wish you’d tell me what’s going on, Dana.”

           Her daughter leant her head against the window and didn’t speak for hours.

Those first few days, Fox left 86 messages on the answerphone. Dana switched off her cell. Maggie threw away sandwiches, crackers, fruit and a put servings of pot roast, meatloaf and lasagne back in the fridge. She boiled the kettle more times than she could count and listened to Dana sob herself to sleep.

           “I can’t go back.”

           These were the first words Dana spoke.

           “Why not?”

           “I hurt him more when I’m there.”

           Maggie shook her head. “I know you two. You need each other.”

           Tears streaked Dana’s face. “We did. We do. More than is healthy. We take steps forward and then we run backward. That’s been the pattern of our lives.”

           “You’ll find a way through. I’ll help you.”

           Dana sobbed, laying her head on her arms across the table. “Prayers can’t fix this, mom.”

           Maggie prayed anyway. And the FBI finally stopped taking.

5 Answers and Questions

The sounds came and went, along with the light. The sounds fell away. The light blinded her then receded. She took comfort in the feel of someone holding her hand but sometimes, when she woke up, her hands were folded across her abdomen and all she had left was the ghost of a touch.

It was dark. It was bright. It was silent. It was chaos. She was comforted. She was frightened.

She could hear his voice. Charlie. Love swelled in her heart, her veins. She couldn’t hear because love was pulsing through her, rushing in her ears and keeping her eyes pressed shut. She’d prayed for Charlie’s return to the fold, to her breast. He’d come home.

She willed her eyes to open. She saw Fox. And Dana.

“My son is named William too,” she said.

One last prayer. Just one.

Day Fifty-Seven

-I was thoroughly underwhelmed and relieved by the amount of customers we had last night when we opened the doors. Unfortunately, the real Black Friday shoppers apparently decided to wait until today to come in en masse, and it was more terrifying than I had ever imagined. Thankfully this did not stop Cat Lady from coming in four separate times during my shift without making a single purchase.

-A woman attempted to specify to me which items she wanted a gift receipt for. I would ask, “All of it?” She would reply, “No, just these,” gesturing to everything. This cycle went on for an entire minute at which point we finally reached the understanding that she did in fact want a gift receipt for everything.

-A gaggle of elderly guests shouted from a location I could not determine, repeating, “Excuse me. Excuse me.” in what was simultaneously a whisper and a shout. While it may be later than they would have hoped, I would now like to formally excuse them from all that they could have been asking for.

-Far too many people have come through the store treating Black Friday as a sport, seeing who can sacrifice the most manners to attain the most savings. The winner is whoever spends the least money while purchasing the most stuff. The loser, their cashiers.

-An older woman purchased $150 of Pokemon cards, but at no point did she mention any gift receipts or anything about presents at all. I hope this means that she is working her way towards being the best that there ever was and establishing that Pokemon trainers can, in fact, age past ten years.

-A woman in her sixties purchased Cards Against Humanity along with several expansions. Whether she is entirely unaware of what the game holds in store for her or entirely aware of what is to come, I want nothing more out of my life than to be the Czar.

-The only genuine winners of Black Friday are the two amazingly polite dads who came through with their toddlers in hand, boasting to each other of how much they saved on their kitchen appliances.

-I watched on in confusion and terror as a woman deliberately passed up dozens of smaller bills, one at a time, to ultimately draw out a $100 bill to pay for her $11 purchase. If her goal was to prove herself the highest of rollers in the store at the time, she accomplished this with flair.

-A sweet old woman entered my lane, a mysteriously goatee-shaped bandaid on her chin, pristine white gloves on her hands, a gray sweater with the hood altered to function as a cape perfecting her ensemble. I want her to adopt me as soon as we can both fit it into our schedule, or at least sign her as my fashion consultant and see if I can commission a cape-hooded hoodie from her.

-I handed a young girl the book she had so eagerly purchased. She excitedly took it and ran to the end of the lane as her parents continued the transaction and began to read the story aloud to all within earshot. She spun the tale of the two kittens with such passion that I was left wanting more than another chapter as the family left the store.

-I was greeted by a mother-daughter shopping duo who had also come through my lane the previous night. They were passionate about their savings, but equally concerned with my well-being and lack of sleep. If I had the energy, I would have wept a single tear as they walked away, leaving me behind to watch the closest things I had to friends in this shift attain the freedom I so dearly desired.

-”You have incredible hair,” a bald man told me wistfully, eyeing my unreasonably thick brown mop. The sadness in his eyes made me consider cutting off a lock to hand to him, but I thought better of it, lest we enter a giving-a-mouse-a-cookie style scenario.

-An elderly woman placed her bills down on the conveyor belt one by one to count them out. I picked them up as she placed down the first couple to ensure they were not swept under the belt. I gestured for her to place them in my hand rather than on the moving surface. Instead, she took this as a challenge, throwing her money across the counter, avoiding my hand as best as she could, cackling to herself as I made a mad dash to pick up each. I never expected this sort of chaotic evil to come from such a frail body, but I have learned my lesson. I will never underestimate a potential nemesis again.

-As I was walking towards the guest services counter, I passed a shrieking baby and a mother desperate to soothe him. I happened to have a strip of stickers in my pocket and, before thinking about it, swooped in to hand them to the child. They immediately ceased the crying and the mother shouted her thanks as I walked away. I am now a gracious sticker fairy and I will pursue this new path wholeheartedly.

-The information that I used to work at Forever 21 has leaked to the management, and I became the subject of a battle between a front end manager and a soft lines manager. I believe soft lines won out in the end and I may have been brought into a new line of work.

-A father attempted to heckle me, asking if I would accept his Kohl’s cash. I turned the tables on the man, telling him that I would gladly take it, but it would not lower his total at all. His family found this hilarious, laughing at him uproariously as he pouted to himself after being roasted so severely. Let this be a lesson to all cashier-hecklers: we are doing our best and our jobs are hard enough and some of us cope with humor and sometimes you will get brutally burned.

Ghoulish Falls

Hi!

I didn’t expect to start posting story stuff like this so soon after I got on the site, but this story didn’t really want to leave me alone. It’s based on @cirilee‘s Ghoul AU, and it’s only the first chapter of many.

I will be posting this to my Fanfiction profile as well, but not right at this particular moment.

And so, without further ado….

Chapter 1: Welcome to Gravity Falls

Ah, summer vacation. No school, no homework, and all the time in the world to spend time with family and friends.

“Hey, look up ahead!” A teenage girl with her long, brown hair pulled back in a ponytail pointed at what was in front of the car as she started hopping up and down in her seat. “That must be it!”

“It should be, according to the directions we got.” The brown-haired teenage boy sitting behind the driver’s seat of the little car grinned at his passenger.

Or, if you happen to be us, take a road trip up the west coast from Piedmont, California, to a small town called Gravity Falls in Oregon in order to investigate the paranatural.

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Roses & Vodka - Lay/Yixing Scenario

Lay/Yixing Scenario - One Shot (Angst, Fluff)


“Not again. I’m not going to help you up again.”

//

Opening the white vintage large door you get greeted by a beautiful bouquet. It’s as if colors of pink red and white are dancing in a big round circle, complementing eachother like no other. And your whole day just becomes like a dream.

“Well! Miss, I think you will have a nice Valentine’s day, won’t you?” you mailman hands you the bouquet and you smile back at him.

“You have no idea..” you smile and tell him goodbye.

Sliding out the card you read in beautiful letters,

‘For my love.

-Zhang Yixing.’

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More Princecup

Because I haven’t gotten anything to flow in a long time and this is flowing and it’s a cliche royalty rom com and that’s just the kind of fluffy thing I need right now.  

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 (Smut is bolded.  I honestly have 0 control and I feel Part 4 might be bolded.  I have 0 idea)


“On a scale of 1 to 10, how fashion forward would you consider yourself?”  Hiccup leans against the desk where Astrid’s sitting, painfully at home in the corner of his quarters, scanning through security logs. He has to remind himself of his own plan, his crazy, impossible, stupid plan that he’s wholly committed to, because if he forgets it even for a second he’s going to kiss her.  

And every time he’s been that stupid before, it’s worked out for him, but then Astrid pulls away. Hard.  All at once.  

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A message from an argentine to americans

So, today I was on twitter and I found this reaction video. This video showed a girl, between the ages of 10 and 12, being told by her mom that they were going to see Donald Trump in person. That little girl’s reaction was the same one I had when I was told that I would see Green Day live when I was 13. Actually, hers was worse than mine because I didn’t start crying of happiness. The thing is that not only I find it disgusting (I don’t blame the girl; it’s not her fault that she has such shitty ass parents), but I also find it… Terrifying.

You must be wondering, why I find it terrifying. I mean, she is only a little girl having a fangirl moment over Donald Trump. But the thing is that, I find it terrifying because I’ve seen that behaviour in the past. And I still see it nowadays.

You see, I’m from Argentina. A country that, until last December, lived under a government controlled by some of the worst people for the last 12 years. How is that possible? Well, a new president took his place as president in 2003. And then his wife did it. After his wife presidency finished, he was supposed to take her place as president after her. And when he finished, his wife would take after him again. So in that way, they would be ruling the country for 18 years.

Now, this guy died in 2010, his wife was left alone and their plan was fucked up. But still, she won the election again and they managed to rule for 12 consecutive years.

This government was fucked up. They would give subsidies to people each month but, it’s not like there was a limit. It’s not like they would say “okay, if you don’t get a proper job in 8 months, we’ll stop giving you this money”. They didn’t even encouraged them or helped them to find a fucking job. They would keep giving them the money.

Also, they were always stealing money. How do we know? Well, let’s just say that all the lady president wardrobe cost more than a million dollars. And they would always said that there wasn’t enough money.

You know where that money came from? My mom’s wallet, my dad’s, my aunt’s, my uncle’s wallet, from anyone who had a proper job. Actually, they would make everything more expensive so they had even more money. They would even take it from my granddad’s fucking pension. My grandma was a housewife all her life so she doesn’t has a pension. You actually believe they could live if my dad stopped paying their bills for them? No.

You know they actually killed people? They said that changing the trains and the rails were too expensive and it was a hard thing to do. 50 people died in a train accident and I don’t know how many got injured because of that.
They let people died during a flood because they weren’t “able” to fix the fucking sewers.
For fuck’s sake, they even killed a public prosecutor because he accused and had proofs that the President had made business with actual terrorists. And lots, lots of fucked up things happened during those 12 years.

You want to know why all of this happened? Because stupid people believed their lies. And they did EVERYTHING to defend these lies. I’m not kidding, this followers were crazy as fuck. Kinda like the followers in the Party in George Orwell’s 1984, and I’m not even exaggerating. I’m currently reading it and it’s really creepy how alike they are.
These people were so sick they would try to push you and convince you to join them. Some members of my family tried to do that with me and my parents. And when you defended yourself or told them to go fuck themselves, they would play the victims saying that you didn’t understand shit and you were betraying your country. And you know what? They were the traitors. They never cared about anything, except when it affected/benefited them.

Now, why does this has to do anything with the girl and Trump? Because now, we have a new President from another Party and yet the old one tries to do everything in its power to fucked him up, and to fucked everyone who voted him up. Actually, they are educating (and when I say educating I mean brainwashing) their kids so they vote for their Party on the 2019 election, just the same way they were educated by their parents to vote it.

I know elections are this year in the USA and I know a lot of people are considering voting for Trump because he says he’s going to make America great again and “save” your economy.

Guys, please. Don’t vote because of the economy. Your economy is absolutely fine. I mean, with 10 dollars you can buy 5 t-shirts. I can’t buy that without spending at least a thousand pesos argentinos. Our currency is so devaluated that this year we are going to start having a thousand pesos argentinos bill. So believe me, you could be in a worse situation.

Please, don’t vote what is good for you. Vote what is good for everyone equally. Don’t worry if economy at some point goes to shit. I mean, come on! You are the United States of America. You are a First World country, not like us. You’ve already been through economical crisis before and you’ve managed pretty well.

Because, what if Trump wins? Yes, he might fix the economy but, what about the people? What about black people, latinos and immigrants in general? What about health care? And gun control?

What if he fixes economy and he gains more followers? And what if that little girl and all her brainwashed friends in the next election votes for him and he wins again? You’ll have to live under his command for 8 years?

Please, if you can stop him now it will be the best thing. Because if you don’t do it now, then when?

Yeah, I know what many of you are thinking. “Shut the fuck up, this is not your country”, “no one asked your opinion, you dirty latina”. And you know what? You are right. But because of the things I lived, I have the right to make sure no one does the same fucking mistake my people did. Whether is you guys, the UK, South Africa or India.

Because, like a wise man once said:
“And do you know what you do with all that pain? Shall I tell you where to put it? You hold it tight till it burns your hand, and you say this: no one else will ever have to live like this. No one else will ever have to feel this pain. Not on my watch!”

The Family Woman - Part 2

Continuation of The Family Woman, based off a prompt from an Anon.  

Part 1-Part 3-Part 4-Part 5

The Family Woman-Part 2

“Holly?” Sophie said, “are you trying to climb out the window?”

“Ummm…” Holly didn’t know what to say.  She wanted to be honest, to tell her that yes, she was in fact climbing out the window.  She was also pretty certain she was having a panic attack mixed with some sort of hallucination.  I must really be working too hard, Holly thought at the ridiculousness of it all.

“Can you come downstairs like a normal human?  The children are getting restless and want to open their presents.  And by children, I mean Gail” Sophie interrupted her thoughts.

“What?  You want me to come downstairs?” Holly sputtered.

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"forever"

here goes the hopeless romantic on another rant:

hello loves.

first of all, Happy October to you. Fall is my favorite time of the year and i’m so excited that it’s officially in full swing. Halloween, candy, leaves, cozy. The dream. *i also read this fact and i don’t know how accurate it is but apparently people are more likely to start dating in the fall*

today i was talking to liz about the concept of marriage. aka: deciding to spend the rest of your life with someone. this means through every up and down, every change, every everything… you’re choosing to be there for this person and this person is choosing to be there for you. now i’m still young… i’m only 21. as far as i know, i’ve still got a whole lotta life ahead of me. but as of right now, this whole marriage concept terrifies me.

i feel like in today’s society, marriage has taken on sort of a “with you until i’m not” sort of thing. now i’m not saying this is for everybody, because i know plenty of couples that are happily married and madly in love. BUT… coming from a divorced family, i can’t help but be scared of it. i know so many families that have been affected by divorce and lately i’ve come to the conclusion that this is one of my greatest fears. not just divorce, but the falling out of love.

when i get married to someone, i’m going to mean it. BUT… i wonder if the person i choose to go on this journey of life with will really mean it too. life is hard. and plus i mean to think about how much i’ve changed in the past 5 years… there’s no way i would be dating the same person i was dating when i was 17. and plus when you’re married you’ve got the added responsibilities of jobs, money, bills, and kids. people change, things change. it’s up to us to be willing to change with people and find the people that are willing to accept change. things are going to get rough and that’s just how life is.

i’m not meaning to be a downer over here, i’m just thinking out loud. for those of you who may have found your husband/wife, congratulations because that’s a HUGE step in life, and you did it! i hope you’re nothing but happy and promise me you’ll never give up. everybody has bad year(s). even if you’re not married, even if you’re divorced, even if you’re dating someone, even if you’re engaged or just broke up with someone… promise me this; you’ll never give up on love. love is one of those magical things in life that truly cannot be put into words, especially when you find someone who makes it nearly impossible to define the word love because you love them that much. love comes, and sometimes love goes, and sometimes love stays forever. but love makes life worth living.

xo megster

whisperwhisk  asked:

OH MY GOD YOU SAW HAMILTON I'M SO JEALOUS PLEASE TELL US ALL ABOUT IT

OH MY GOD IT WAS SO GOOD.

Ahem.  Some background:

If you’re at all aware of the U.S. musical theater scene (and there’s a sentence), you’ve probably heard of a show called Hamilton.  In case you haven’t: it is, quite literally, a musical about the life, career, and death of Alexander Hamilton, the first United States Secretary of the Treasury.  I…yeah.  If you were to make a list of “historical figures about whom a musical should be written,” Alexander Hamilton probably wouldn’t make the top fifty.  He is, sadly, too obscure (or was until very recently); most people think of him as “the dude on the ten-dollar bill,” if they even know that dude’s name.

So it was a bit of a shock to basically everyone when suddenly Hamilton became the hottest ticket on Broadway.  Written by Lin Manuel-Miranda, who had previously written In the Heights and contributed to Bring It On: The Musical, the show seemed to go from zero to ABSOLUTELY FUCKING EVERYWHERE.  Several of my friends became obsessed.  As is often the case with the people I tend to surround myself with, they began talking about it constantly.

Have I told you about the power of my irritation?

See, when something starts to annoy me, I have a very narrow window to learn to like it or wind up hating it forever.  As I was about to go to New York, I declared my intent to see Hamilton, so as to keep myself from hating it.  Several people pointed out that it was, you know, sold out until next year.  Whatever, I replied.  I was going to see it.

Come the day we had reserved for Hamilton-going, Diana and I went to the theater, where she already had a friend at the front of the cancellation line.  Said friend was able to get us three tickets at face value (one for each of us, one for herself).  Sarah and Katie joined us, and put their names in for the lottery.  Now, when you do a show lottery, the popularity of the show pretty much decides your chances.  A show like Hamilton means they’re not…good.  So we’re standing there as the names are being drawn, and name after name does not belong to any member of our party.

“This is our last draw for the night,” announces Daveed Diggs (Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson)…and reads Sarah’s name.  Our entire group makes a terrifying, drawn-out screeching noise, like we have been possessed by the spirits of every velociraptor currently in residence at the Museum of Natural History.

The five of us proceed to a local Italian place for dinner, bolt our spaghetti, and meet up with Josh in line.  Josh has secured a ticket through the simple, if nerve-wracking expedient of waiting for the StubHub prices to drop back to “just trying to recoup my investment” levels, and then running from their last-minute ticket office to meet us.  So yes.  The power of my spite* got six people into a completely sold-out show at the last minute, all with good seats, no one paying scalper prices.  Behold the power of spite.

(*Odd as this may seem as an ordinary superpower, I have never lost a ticket lottery.  Either I or someone in my immediate group has always won.  It’s weird, but useful.)

Hamilton is very simply staged: there are few props, even fewer sets.  It’s mostly just stark wood and people implying their surroundings through context.  The cast is intentionally diverse, representing America as it is today through the faces on the stage.  And it never stops.  Not for one second.  Even the slow moments are fast by the standards of most shows.

I hoped to like Hamilton.  I didn’t expect to love it.  I certainly didn’t expect to sob through great swaths of it.  The soundtrack is available now, and there is so little speech in the show that just listening to it is more than enough; you’ll get basically the whole show.

But I am so glad I got to be in the room where it happens.

Oz Comic Con - April 13th, 2014 (Sun) - part two

As complete a summary as I can be bothered with of Benedict Cumberbatch at the Oz Comic Con Sydney event (Sunday April 13th, 2014). Some parts have been paraphrased and others left out completely, so don’t take it as gospel, more as generally what went down.

continued from part 1.

12. His favourite childhood movie? Ghostbusters. Woo. The “asymmetrical comedic genius” of Bill Murray should have evaded him at the age he watched it at, but Murray’s extraordinarily brilliant, and there was something that made him go back to the film a lot. He liked that bit where the creepy music came in and the ghouls were just colliding into Manhattan, and loved that they were contained on this island, and at the centre of it was Peter Venkman. All three of them were brilliant. It was a fantastic creation. The idea for a kid that ghosts could be funny and scary was extraordinary. The dogs that guarded her were pretty terrifying, yet when Rick Moranis squeaks down the wall everyone carries on eating. It was very funny. “You should ask my mum this question.” She’s not in here today, but you should ask her. He wasn’t a geek, not too obsessive, but loved Star Wars and Indiana Jones. Woo. Quite liked Bond - he saw his first one, Octopussy, at quite a young age. Didn’t quite understand the seduction of beautiful women, but he liked the gadgets, was a typical boy in that sense. Indiana Jones was really cool.

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3

Foals’ guide to being rockstars

Lousie Donovan
Shortlist Magazine

You might not realise it, but Foals are huge. Massive, in fact. You’ve probably found yourself humming one of their tracks over the last eight years, whether it’s the frantically mathy-indie gem Hummer, which encompasses everything that was brilliant about the late-Noughties era (fluorescent pink, jolted dance moves, tight tennis T-shirts). Or Spanish Sahara, which soundtracked that steamy Misfits episode (with a pre-Ramsay Iwan Rheon). And Inhaler, the mighty first single off third album Holy Fire, sits at 14 million listens on YouTube.

Thing is, they’ve never had a colossal hit. “I don’t think any of our singles have got into the Top 20,” Yannis Philippakis tells ShortList while digging into a lunch of chicken pitta gyros. “But we’ve built up slowly and organically through our live reputation. We’ve developed every record in a way that we wouldn’t have been able to if we’d had an overnight, intense pressure.”

The band will top the bill at the Reading and Leeds festivals for the first time this month, which is great news, obviously. But news that also might be a tad awkward, as Philippakis has previously bitched about old-timers clogging up festival line-ups. This year, then, it’s time to put his money where his mouth is. “We’re bored of seeing some dude from the Nineties headline,” he complained back in 2013, as it means newer bands don’t get a look in. Lots of people would agree. Festivals book the big hitters, the world-touring, wrinkled-by-rock OGs, the Chili Peppers of this world (who are, by no coincidence, the Saturday night headline act at Reading) because they present risk-free ticket sales.

Today, however, Philippakis is confident. “I’m glad, even just selfishly, that we’re headlining Reading rather than some old heritage band who have already headlined every festival on the circuit,” he says. “Hopefully it shows, without sounding too worthy about it, that you don’t need to do X, Y and Z in order to become to a bigger band. You don’t need to sort out your image or get your teeth whitened or start hanging out at the right place to be in a rock band.”

So what do you have to do? How do you earn your rock stripes? Luckily, Yannis is here to fill us in with a helpful 11-point guide.

1. Act like private jets are boring

“We’ve flown on a private jet before, but it was pretty underwhelming. I liked that you didn’t have to go through security – that was the main perk. The actual flight just felt like we were in a little plane. And it’s the same old faces. Like, you know, Jack [Bevan, Foals’ drummer] was to my left, Jimmy [Smith, rhythm guitarist] was to my right. No surprises.” 

2. Expect a few pre-show drinks


“We’ve never played a gig fully sober. There’s a part of me that’d like to do it sober. I just don’t know whether it would be any good. Most nights are mental. I missed a flight recently because we were drunk. In terms of how we operate, it’s not a problem, but booze is imbued in the band because we started out playing house parties. And anyway, I’ve got the rest of my life to clean up.”  

3. Be open to alternative business ventures

“Our rider is pretty boozy. It’s an inhuman amount of alcohol to be drinking. At the end of a tour the bus pulls back up in London and you could throw 40 parties and a couple of weddings off it. All the champagne gets smashed pretty quickly but there’s lots of bourbon and beer left over. We were thinking about starting a wedding catering business on the side.”

4. Outgrow the underdog mentality

“I can be quite grumpy backstage. I have a high bar of what to expect and will focus on any little mistake. But I think I’m lightening up a bit, and the shows are getting better. After headlining Latitude for the first time [in 2013] I remember we all came off absolutely buzzing. It felt like we deserved to be there. We’ve always perceived ourselves as being the underdogs, or slightly on the outside, so to be in that place where we were closing a festival just felt right.”

5. Always tour in an unruly fashion

“As we’ve gotten older, it’s not that we’ve got soft or anything, but you start to live two lives. The tour life is hedonistic and self-destructive, and… fun. And home life is a comedown. You can’t sustain it. Without going into details, there’s a lot of partying. After we’ve finished touring this record I’m going to have a bit of a break. I want to get healthy. I don’t actually drink that much when I’m at home.”

6. Embrace DIY surgery

“One night on tour in the US, I caught my knee on the edge of the stage. I was coming back from being out in the crowd and my shin split down lengthways. I couldn’t see the bone but there’s not much flesh over your shin, you know? Anyway, I got back [to the hotel] and Jimmy and some of the guys were like: ‘It’ll be fine, let’s just leave it,’ so we poured some vodka in the cut and wrapped it up. But then it got infected. It was a fucking nightmare. I went to a doctor about a month later – he had to pull the rotten bits of skin off.”

7. Face your own fears

“I’m terrified of heights. I jump off stage during shows but it’s a different thing, partly because I’m p*ssed. But it’s in the moment, you know? I don’t think of it as being high. If I went up to the same stage during the day I’d probably be freaked out. But also I trust the crowd. I know that I’m not landing on a hard floor. They’ll catch me.”

8. Get sniffy about silly Americans

“Coachella is not my idea of a good festival. You get celebrities at Glastonbury, sure, but people don’t go for that. If anything, what’s great about Glastonbury is that they’re made to trudge through the mud like anybody else. Whereas at Coachella it’s like: ‘Where’s my private buggy?’ It attracts people who want to live this aspirational lifestyle and to take a similar selfie that [fill in the blank space with celeb] also took there with their flower crown on. People don’t rock out, and you can’t drink in the actual festival. I don’t hate it; I just think it’s a bit sanitised. It’s like LA.

“UK festivals are the best. Glastonbury feels tribal. All of the realities of day-to-day life have truly gone away. It’s some bizarreAlice In Wonderland meets Lord Of The Flies type of thing. I never really feel like I’ve lost my mind anywhere else.”

9. Attract maniacs

“There are some weird people that follow us. The closest person who came to being a stalker was a woman – this was in the MySpace days – who would send us fucking up to 15 messages a day. They didn’t say anything, but she wrote our names in capitals and each letter would run on for several pages. So it was like: ‘Y-Y-Y-Y-Y-Y’ again and again. One time we flew from Poland, to Paris, to Portugal and ended up in Norway – and she was at every show. I’d clock her in the front row – she had intense eyes – and she’d stare at me. It was like: ‘How the fuck did you get from the last show to this one?’“

10. Fetishise boredom

“After we’ve finished touring I’m going to leave the country. I want to get really bored again. The boys want to go off into their private spheres and regain that feeling of being truly and absolutely gasping to get back in the room and create something. There’s so much stimulation for everybody these days. I might be romanticising this, but I can remember being young and thinking: ‘I’ve got nothing to do.’ When the weekend was just this yawning period of time because you couldn’t get into a pub. I was so bored I’d fucking read Teletext. Remember that thing? Right, that’s it; I’m going to make an anti-Teletext record.”

11. Set the bar (almost) unachievably high

“Headlining Reading festival is a big deal for me because I grew up down the road. I was too young to go, so I used to watch this VHS tape of Nirvana playing in 1992 in my Mum’s living room. I’d never been to a gig – Reading seemed so big and crazy. It was one of the reasons I wanted to be in a band. So to play there now is going to be pretty special.”

Foals play [headline] Reading and Leeds Festival on 26-28 August readingandleedsfestival.com

(Images: Sebastian Nevols/Rex/iStock)